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I have a campus recruitment drive at my college next week. One of the company's panel/interviewer is my close friend. Before the process should I disclose this to anyone in the company or at college? Or should I do it during the interview so as to not cause any partiality in the selection process?

Because I fear someone will get hint and maybe if I get hired they will know eventually that we are friends. Company is 100 to 120 in size.

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The other two answers suggest that either this is irrelevant, or that making the disclosure might imply that being close friends is somehow a bad thing.

It's both relevant, and a fairly normal potential conflict of interest which should be disclosed.

Any time there is a possibility that a relationship will unfairly or inappropriately affect an outcome, a disclosure is appropriate.

There are two reasons to make disclosures of potential conflicts of interest. The first is to ensure that there is an objective decision making process, even when there may be some bias. Interviewer is a friend? Sure, but the interview questions, process, time, etc. was reviewed by someone who was neutral and found to be appropriate and objective. The second is to foreclose any possibility of impropriety. Someone discovers later than the interviewer was a friend? Sure, but Human Resources or the upline managers were well aware of the fact.

I recently bought a house which came with appliances I didn't need since I moved with my own. I overheard a co-worker mention he was looking to replace some of his appliances. I offered them to him. I believe a fair-market value for what I gave him was somewhere between $500 and $1,000. That was more than sufficient to influence him to potentially be more favorable to me, so I informed my manager of the gift. I also informed my co-worker that I'd reported the gift to my boss. Everyone was happy and he loves the appliances I gave him, and I love not having to go through the grief of selling things which could have been a major hassle.

We don't disclose conflicts because we think friendships are bad, we disclose them because it prevents the conflict itself from creating problems.

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This is really up to your friend and his/her ability to be impartial in the process. Have you talked to your friend on if the other interviewers know of your relationship? It's up to your friend to recuse themselves from at least your interview if they feel it is necessary.

Or should I do it during the interview so as to not cause any partiality in the selection process?

You should prepare for the interview exactly how you prepare for any interview, pretend you know nothing about the interviewers. Bring your best self and make you the best choice to the other interviewers before your friend inputs at all.

Because I fear someone will get hint and maybe if I get hired they will know eventually that we are friends.

I've been hired before by a close friend, people learned this but because I was qualified and performed well, people respected my skill set and the relationship was never an issue. Just bring your best self and let your work ethic and skills speak if you get the position.

  • While I agree that the main burden of keeping the process impartial is on the friend since they're the ones who hold the decision power, I think it is ethical from OP's point to disclose potential conflict of interest before any decision is made. – Juliana Karasawa Souza Sep 6 at 9:04
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Before the process should I disclose this to anyone in the company or at college? Or should I do it during the interview so as to not cause any partiality in the selection process?

Tell them it if they ask you.

Otherwise I don't see the need to "disclose" such information. Framing it like that seems like you two being friends were a bad thing (which is not).

If their interview processes are ok and in place then the process will be partial.

Because I fear someone will get hint and maybe if I get hired they will know eventually that we are friends.

Again, no need to fear here. There is nothing bad in you being friends.

If you are eventually hired it would be because you were a good candidate and had a good profile. If people thought that "you got the job only because you are friends" then that would be a bit far-fetched thing to conclude.

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    "If their interview processes are OK and in place" ...then they'll find a different interviewer. – RJFalconer Sep 5 at 22:39
  • I am from Italy, and i have to say unfortunately, the most used method of recruiting is word of mouth. Is somewhat expected to be hired by fiends. If one has the required profile and performs well, it's the head hunting Italian style at work, maybe because recruiting agencies here are clowns and geared to find low wage jobs instead of qualified personnel. – Michele L'Intenditore Sep 6 at 9:16
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    @MicheleL'Intenditore - That's been the case a number of times for me as well. But in those cases, I was VERY heavily interviewed. One job where I was hired about 7 years ago, I came well recommended. The interview was scheduled for about 2 hours. It lasted about 6 hours. There's nothing wrong with being friends with an interviewer. Most companies have more than enough "other" people to ensure there are no biases. – Julie in Austin Sep 6 at 11:18

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